At a glimpse :
Location : Across Orissa, but especially in Pipli village.
Started in : Earlier period of time.
Applique is derived from the French word which is defined as art form of colored fabrics. The Applique work is the most famous art form that is present in the state of Orissa. This art and crafts are done by the skillful and talented artisans of Pipli village which is located from Puri at a distance of 40 kilometer. They make arts and handicrafts which we mostly used to decorate our house. The Applique work is made from past decades which are the major attraction of this state. The antique art and handicrafts are mainly seen on the street side and shops where the tribal sell. From the past few centuries that is from 850 years this form of art is continued in the state of India even today. The methods, technique, and the process of making the art and handicrafts are remained unchanged even today.
There are various different types of Applique work which are made by the artisans of Pipli village. It includes Bana, Mandant, Adhoni, Alata, Trasa, Chhati, Chandua, and many more. All these type of art is used during the festival Dola Jatra to offer their holy deities. The products that belong in the applique work are used during the ceremonies of Lord Jagannath. Originally, the art form is initiated as temple art. For making different art forms they used colored cloths which they cut and fold in different shapes like leaves, flowers, animals, birds, and other motifs that are stitched in the piece of cloth. These deigned cloths are used to cover furniture’s or hang on the wall as a showpiece, beach umbrella, or lamp shades. The tribal of Pipli town made all the home decorative products with their own hand. They mostly made this from the waste material to a useful material. In the earlier century, the household linen and saris were decorated and designed in applique work.
The demand of this type of work increased more and more among the villagers that they made and sold in city area. While wandering on the streets of Orissa state, you can see majority of the shops and stalls are filled with antique collections of the applique work on colored fabric. The most common and simple design you can spot on the vivid fabric is of geometrical shape. They are mainly adorned with small mirrors in whole range of the shape which gives an exquisite look to the fabric. At the border of the cloth a simple and attractive thread design is made as embroidery which makes the work more striking. For making the applique work four basic traditional colors are used, they are black, white, yellow, and red. In the past decades, apart from these colors no other shades were added in the art form.
But recently, green color was introduced in the art work for making the fabric more attractive. The art form of applique work is not only popular in Puri district, but it is also practiced in other regions like Barpali, Chitki, and many other places. If you plan to take a trip to the state of Orissa in your next weekend then make sure to visit some of the small textile industries that are present here. There are a number of small textile industries which manufacture some of the applique work forms on the piece of fabric. Originally, this art form was just a hobby, but today, it is one of the occupations for the tribal village.
How it is made :
To experience this art form, firstly practice on the dazzling fabrics which are colored in red, white, green, purple, yellow, and black. The craftsman first cut the piece of cloth into a desire shape like oval, circle, rectangle, square, etc. According to the shape of the piece, the art is designed on it, keeping the background in mind. Another pattern that is made in the art form is the raised motifs which are prepared by folding the fabric for several times. The literal grace of the applique art and craft lies in the complex stitches namely the chikan, turpa, guntha, bakhia, and many more. They are the most difficult form where the whole fabric is made by the thread work including the embroidery. The thread works that are prepared are very delicate which is made by the mysterious techniques.
Originally, the usage of small mirror and metal pieces are not used, but recently, they started using this which enhances the beauty of the fabric. Most of the women in the Puri village wear sari and dresses that are made from the applique work. The metal or mirrors are added to the cloth only after that the embroidery is stitched. After attaching and stitching all the area of the fabric it is then finalized and send to the market for sale. Mostly, the retailer charge a lot as such type of fabric or cloth are very expensive because they believe that the art is totally hand made and lot of efforts are taken to do it. Majority of the family members in the village are involved in making the applique work. Among all the members of a family, only the skilled and talented persons create a beautiful and complicated design that seeks the attention of majority of the tourists. Both national and international visitors come to witness here just to see the making of this magnificent design from the fabric.
The applique work form is not only made in Pipli and Puri village, but it is also accepted by other regions and cities such as Punjab, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pardesh, and many more. Nowadays, the applique work is also designed even on the gowns, petticoats, blouses, and other garments of women.